Former US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley recently made headline news when she said that the Civil War was not only about slavery, but “individual freedom”. In her remarks, Haley made a point to emphasize the importance of understanding the tragic history of our nation, and recognize the vital role that individual freedom has taken in creating the beautiful nation we live in today.
Haley’s remarks come in the wake of a growing divide in our nation, as many grapple with how to approach the difficult topic of our nation’s history. While some have argued that the Civil War was solely about slavery, Haley asserts that the war had a deeper meaning, and her remarks aim to bridge the divide. Her words remind us that the past should not be held up as a symbol of division, but rather should be studied in order to learn the lessons of freedom, as well as create a united future.
Haley’s words were met with polarizing reactions, with some speaking up in support while others raised criticism and attacked her interpretation of the Civil War’s meaning. Supporters of Haley argued that by taking into account the complexities that lay underneath the Civil War, we can begin to comprehend the difficult history our nation lived through and recognize how far we’ve come since then.
Within her words, Haley speaks to the enlightened values that are now part of our American identity: individual freedom, justice, and fair treatment. These values are a reminder that our nation didn’t just get here overnight, but through the hard work, perseverance, and pain of those who came before us. As we continue to advance our nation we must remember our past, celebrate our present, and look forward to our future.
By raising the flag of individual rights and freedom, Haley reminds us of the remarkable nation we reside in and the path of progress our country has undertaken. It is our job to carry this battle cry forward, as we strive towards a better future for the generations that will follow.